Successful Collaboration

Recap:  6/11/14

Thank you to LWD member Sharon Burdett of Strand Design for hosting the June meeting and giving us the tour of their great new studio in the historic Monadnock Building.

-Topic – successful collaboration – meaning a collaboration where everyone makes money.

-R.A.C.I. – Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed

-First step – seeking collaborations – sometimes these ideas or collaborations “marinate” for years before going forward and come to fruition when the timing is right.

-Tips and things to consider:

  • Create a brief for strategic planning – similar to plans used in many creative fields, advertising, marketing, film ect.
  • Define roles
  • Set a game plan
  • Define risks –
    • who is taking the financial / time risk
    • financial who has the funding or will seeking the funding be a collaborative effort
    • will one company be paying the other
      • royalties
      • media exposure
      • consulting fee
      • 50 / 50 investment
    • is this worth your time / your companies time / your companies overall goals
      • do you want to your companies name on the project / product
    • make sure these are defined and black and white from the beginning
  • Define strengths of each person / company in the collaboration
  • Define end product audience
    • does this fall under one side of the collaborations client base or is it equally shared
    • which collaborator knows this specific market best
  • Compartmentalize
  • Set boundaries
  • Re-evaluate and check in
    • Weekly
    • Monthly
    • Yearly

Taproot Foundation – Sharon has found that working on their pro bono projects is an amazing experience due to the thoroughness of their project structures.

-Also came across this Tap Root – software that helps organize a team’s responsibilities, tracks each stage of the investigation process.

  • Road Maps
  • Processes
  • Definitions / Roles
  • Annual Reports

-3 C’s in a successful Collaboration – (Communication, Coordination, and Cooperation)

Communication – speaks to how everyone understands each other and how information is shared

Coordination – Coordination, like communication, begins with an assumption of differences.  Everyone involved bringing their strengths to the project and taking ownership of the aspect of the project that falls within their specific skill set.

Cooperation – the process of working together to the same end.

-We also talked about collaborations and businesses between romantic partners or a married couple.  Here are some tips shared from others in this type of business collaboration:

  • Set boundaries – leave work at work
  • Have separate space to work
    • Studio outside of home
    • Studio in house to close door
  • Don’t bring personal issues to work
  • Define roles – remember these can change and grow over time.
  • Define salaries – remember this can change but may not be 50/50 at the beginning if one person has an outside job and the other is doing much of the work on the business.
  • Take a management class if you are going to hire employes, interns.
    • Remember that the way you and your partner communicate may not be best or as effective business wise once you integrate “outsiders”.  May be best to define these roles as well.  May find one of you is better at working with employees and/or delegating.

Links and references talked about:

-No Money, No Time –

-The “Busy” Trap –